Expat's Manual

Indian passport surrender is mandated by law for any Indian expats who formally take foreign nationality. As soon as any Indian expat takes foreign nationality they are required to surrender their Indian passport to the nearest Indian Mission or Post. The Indian citizenship act does not permit Indian passport holders to gain dual citizenship and any individual who takes foreign nationality are strongly urged to relinquish their Indian passport immediately.

In response to misuse of Indian passports and the fact that many Indian expats have continued to retain their Indian passport for travel into India, the Indian government are becoming more and more stringent on the implementation of the rules that govern the misuse of Indian passports as described under Section 12(1A) of the Passports Act 1967, which states:

“whoever, not being a citizen of India-

(a) makes an application for a passport or obtains a passport by suppressing information about his nationality, or

(b) holds a forged passport or any travel document,

shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than one year but which may extend to five years and with fine which shall not be less than ten thousand rupees but which may extend to fifty thousand rupees”.

A grace period of three months is permitted from the date of acquisition of foreign citizenship and no penalty will be applied for travel using the Indian passport within three months of acquisition of foreign passport. However, once this grace period has passed the penalties for ignoring the need for Indian passport surrender will be applied. These include imprisonment of up to 5 years and a fine of up to $1250 USD. Traveling to India on an Indian passport can incur a fine of $250 per travel up to a maximum of $1250 USD.

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